Yiannis Laouris

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Yiannis Laouris
YiannisLaourisGlassesSmaller.jpg YiannisLaourisGlassesSmaller.jpg
Laouris in May 2009
Born1958 (age 63–64)
Paphos, Cyprus
🏳️ Nationality
🎓 Alma materUniversity of Leipzig
💼 Occupation

Yiannis Laouris (Greek: Γιάννης Λαούρης; born 1958) is a Greek Cypriot entrepreneur, neurophysiologist, and systems scientist. Trained in the U.S. and Germany, he has become known for his socially responsible work and scientific contributions in the fields of peace and development through the application of modern technology and the science of structured dialogic design.

Early life[edit]

Laouris was born in Paphos in 1958, the son of teacher Christodoulos Laouris. He attended various schools, including The English School, Nicosia, the Pancyprian Gymnasium, and the Acropolis Gymnasium. He served in the Cypriot National Guard as the first Cypriot senior cryptographer after the 1974 Cypriot coup d'état and 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus.


Early career[edit]

He graduated from the medical school of the Karl Marx University (today known as University of Leipzig (German: Universität Leipzig), in Leipzig, enjoying three parallel scholarships because of his top grades, and completed a PhD in Neurophysiology with summa cum laude with Prof. Peter Schwartze at the Carl Ludwig Institute of Physiology. Laouris and his wife Joulietta were the first foreign students who completed a PhD in parallel with the medical studies in the history of East Germany, an achievement that received press coverage.[1] He continued his research in neurophysiology at the Georg-August University Göttingen with cyberneticists and systems physiologists Professors Hans Diedrich Henatsch and Uwe Windhorst. He subsequently joined the Robotics, Prosthetics, Motor Control Group at the University of Arizona, where he collaborated with Douglas G. Stuart. In the U.S. he also completed a Masters in Systems and Industrial Engineering.

Contributions in neuroscience[edit]

In the late 1980s and 1990s, Laouris applied Digital signal processing in time and frequency domains to single-unit recordings from experimental animals to study transmission properties and fatigue of cat motor neurons, muscle afferents and Renshaw cells. He published with cyberneticians/systems physiologists Peter Schwartze, Uwe Windhorst, Roger M. Enoka and Douglas G. Stuart.

Laouris has published more than 40 papers and chapters in journals such as the Experimental Brain Research, Neuroscience, Journal of Neurophysiology, Behavioral and Brain Sciences, and World Futures, and has presented more than 250 papers in conferences worldwide. In 1991, he founded the Cyprus Neuroscience and Technology Institute.[2]

Introducing cyberspace technologies[edit]

Laouris devoted a decade of his life to a vision he called CYBER KIDS.[3][4] The project involved the development of an innovative,[5] team-project-based, award-winning curriculum[6] that was grounded on the concept of KnowledgePacket to construct a lesson plan that always required collaboration and included multiple other dimensions such as the value of the specific lesson for real life, mental development, creativity, etc. Between 1992-1999 CYBER KIDS reached 15,000 children in Cyprus, i.e., 20% of the country’s youth population (ages 6–15) and contributed against brain drain by employing almost 200 young scientists.

Laouris was also founder of the Cyprus Safer Internet Cyprus Safer Internet Center, Hotline and Helpline in 2005, which collaborate with Insafe and Inhope to promote the safer use of internet across Europe. He is member of the Steering Group of Commonwealth's Cyber Crime Initiative.[7] He participates in the "Onlife Project: Concept Reengineering" [8][9] chaired by Luciano Floridi and also in the "Core Foresight Workshops",[10] two initiatives of Digital Futures Task Force of the European Commission, which aim to explore the extent to which the digital transition impacts societal expectations towards EU policy making.

Promoting peace and multi-culturalism[edit]

In the nineties, Laouris was a founding member of the Cyprus Conflict Resolution Trainers Group and the Technology for peace[11][12][13] initiative. His team envisioned, designed and implemented almost a dozen of peace projects in Cyprus with the most recent civil society dialogue project aiming to re-engage peace builders from both communities following the negative outcome of the Annan Plan.[14][15] Students from universities across the world conduct internships[16] and complete Masters and PhD theses with his group in order to learn about the combined application of conflict resolution, structured dialogic design and information technologies in the service of peace and positive social transformation. His social entrepreneurial work has been recognized in 1998 with the prestigious award for creativity of the Employers and Industrialists Association,[17] in 2008 with the awarding of the first prize for social cohesion of the Cyprus civil society awards and in 2011 with the Euro-Med Award for the Dialogue between Cultures (Honorable Mention -second place) of the Anna Lindh Foundation.[18][19]

Laouris is currently chair of Future Worlds Center,[20] which implements about 20 projects at the interface of technology and social progress. Notable European-wide projects include: Cyberethics,[21] Development Education,[22] Teach Millennium Development Goals,[23] and CARDIAC.[24]

Pioneering the refinement and promotion of structured dialogue[edit]

Laouris pioneered in the application of the science of structured dialogic design in the Cyprus and Middle East peace movement and in many pan-European networks such as the COST219ter,[25] COST 298,[26] Insafe,[27] UCYVROK[28] and CARDIAC.[24] He is credited for the discovery of the Law of Requisite Action (see also Axiom of Engagement in Hasan Özbekhan)as formulated in the context of the science of structured dialogic design.[13] The Hellenic Society for Systemic Studies recognized his contributions in systems science honoring him with The Hellenic Society for Systemic Studies Award in 2008.[29][30] He works closely with Aleco Christakis father of the science and other scientists across the world, serves in the Board of the Institute for 21st Century Agoras[31] and is network member of the Wisdom Research Network of the University of Chicago[32]

He published a book in which he invites readers into discovering and breaking of stereotypes in a society in conflict based on his 20 years of experiences in peace movements.[33] Laouris invented the 1980s board game Glasnost The Game, in which the winner is the player who manages to disarm. Ironically, this can only be achieved after one conquers most territories on the planet.[citation needed]


  • Laouris, Y., Kalli-Laouri, J., & Schwartze, P. (1990). The postnatal development of the air righting reflex of albino rats. Quantitative analysis of normal development and the effect of preventing neck-torso and torso-pelvis rotations. Behav. Brain Res., 37, 37-44.
  • Laouris, Y., & Windhorst, U. (1989). The relationship between coherence and nonlinear characteristics in Renshaw cell responses to random motor axon stimulation. Neuroscience, 28, 652-634.
  • Bevan, L., Laouris, Y., Reinking, R. M., & Stuart, D. G. (1991). The effect of the stimulation pattern on the fatigue of single motor units in adult cats. J. Physiol. (Lond. ) 449, 85-108.
  • Enoka, R. M., Trayanova, N., Laouris, Y., Bevan, L., Reinking, R. M. and Stuart, D. G. (1992). Fatigue-related changes in motor unit action potentials of adult cats. Muscle & Nerve, 15: 138–150. doi:10.1002/mus.880150204
  • Spielmann, J.M, Laouris, Y., Nordstrom, M.A., Robinson, G.A., Reinking, R.M. and Stuart, D. G. (1993). Adaptation of cat motoneurons to sustained and intermittent extracellular activation. J Physiol 464, (1) 75-120.
  • Nordstrom, M. A., Gorman, R. B., Laouris, Y., Spielmann, J. M. and Stuart, D. G. (2007). Does motoneuron adaptation contribute to muscle fatigue?. Muscle Nerve, 35: 135–158. doi:10.1002/mus.20712
  • Loizou, A. & Laouris, Y. (2011). Developing Prognosis Tools to Identify Learning Difficulties in Children Using Machine Learning Technologies. Cognitive Computation, Vol 3(3), 490-500. doi:10.1007/s12559-010-9052-5
  • Roe, P, Gill J., Allen, B., Boyle, B., Heck, H, Shitta, G., Laouris, Y.(2011). Towards a technology transfer roadmap from the Coordination Action in R&D in Accessible and Assistive ICT (CARDIAC). Technology and Disability. Vol 23(3), 171-181. doi:10.3233/TAD-2011-0325


  1. Articles in German and Cypriot newspapers commenting on the rareness of completing a PhD almost simultaneously with studies
  2. Cyprus Neuroscience & Technology Institute
  3. Project historical page
  4. CYBER KIDS page in Future Worlds Pedia
  5. Laouris, Y. (2014). Teams Construct Knowledge During Project-Driven Social Interactions; A Facet of the CYBER Kids Method. In: Ed: Sebastian Feller and Ilker Yengin. Educating in Dialog: Constructing meaning and building knowledge with dialogic technology. Dialogue Studies 24, 111–131 DOI: 10.1075/ds.24.06lao.
  6. List of CYBER KIDS Awards
  7. http://www.commonwealthigf.org/cybercrime/inaugural-cci-steering-group-meeting/ The Commonwealth Cyber Crime Initiative
  8. The Onlife Initiative Concept Reengineering Exercise; Digital Futures
  9. Video clip from the launch of the Onlife Manifest on the European Parliament Dec 2, 2014
  10. http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/digital_futures/workshops/core_foresight/index_en.htm Core Foresight Workshops
  11. Laouris, Y. (2004). Information technology in the service of peace building. The case of Cyprus. World Futures, 60, 67–79.
  12. Laouris, Y. and Laouri, R. (2008). Can Information and mobile technologies serve close the economic, educational, digital and social gaps and accelerate development? World Futures, 64(4), 254-275.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Laouris, Y., Laouri, R. and Christakis, A. (2008). Communication praxis for ethical accountability; The ethics of the tree of action. Syst Res Behav Sci 25(2), 331–348.
  14. Laouris, Y., Michaelides, M. Damdelen, M., Laouri, R., Beyatli, D., and Christakis, A. (2009). A systemic evaluation of the state of affairs following the negative outcome of the referendum in Cyprus using a structured design process. Systemic Practice and Action Research, 22, 45-75.
  15. Laouris, Y., Erel, A., Michaelides, M,. Damdelen, M., Taraszow, T., Dagli, I., Laouri, R. and Christakis, A. (2009). Exploring options for enhancement of social dialogue between the Turkish and Greek communities in Cyprus using the Structured Dialogic Design Process. Systemic Practice and Action Research, 22, 361–381.
  16. Interns visiting with own funds to learn from Laouris Group
  17. Fileleftheros Newspaper 25 May 1998 on Creativity Award to Laouris Team
  18. Award announcement on Anna Lindh's page
  19. Article in Cyprus Mail Newspaper on Anna Lindh Euro-Med Award for the Dialogue between Cultures
  20. Future Worlds Center
  21. Cyberethics
  22. Development Education
  23. Teach MDGs
  24. 24.0 24.1 CARDIAC
  25. European COST Action 219ter
  26. European COST Action 298
  27. Safer Internet Coordinating Node for whole Europe
  28. UCYVROK project
  29. Cypriot is honored by Hellenic Society, The Cyprus Mail, 19 June, 2008
  30. Award for Dr. Laouris (article in Greek), Politis, 2 July, 2008
  31. Institute for 21st Century Agoras
  32. Wisdom Research Network of the University of Chicago.
  33. Link to Masks of Demons page

External links[edit]

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